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Denmark drops AstraZeneca jab for good, in European first

Wednesday April 14 2021

Two cases of thrombosis, one of which was fatal, were linked to vaccinations.

Philip Davali | Ritzau Scanpix | AFP

IN SUMMARY

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Copenhagen

Denmark has announced it will stop using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine altogether, becoming the first European country to do so over suspected rare but serious side effects.

Despite recommendations from the World Health Organisation and European medicines watchdog to continue using the inoculation, "Denmark's vaccination campaign will go ahead without the AstraZeneca vaccine," Health Authority Director Soren Brostrom told a press conference.

Denmark was the first country in Europe to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca jab in its vaccination rollout, after reports of rare but serious cases of blood clots among those that had received the vaccine.

More than a dozen countries followed suit but all but a few have since resumed the use after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) emphasised the benefits of the vaccine and deemed it "safe and effective".

Investigations

Denmark had, however, continued to hold off using the vaccine as it conducted investigations of its own.

In Denmark, two cases of thrombosis, one of which was fatal, were linked to vaccinations after more than 140,000 people received the jab made by the Anglo-Swedish drug maker.

In the country of 5.8 million inhabitants, eight per cent have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and 17 per cent have received a first dose.

Since suspending use of the AstraZeneca jab in March, Denmark has continued with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs.

The AstraZeneca suspension delays the country's ambitious vaccine rollout plans, but the health authority said in a statement that the availability of other vaccines combined with the pandemic being under control at the moment meant the inoculation campaign could continue without it.

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